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Originally Posted by Argonaut

It is a role playing video game. How can story and characters come secondary to mechanics?

Because it is, first and foremost, a game.

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Originally Posted by Emrikol
Originally Posted by Argonaut

It is a role playing video game. How can story and characters come secondary to mechanics?

Because it is, first and foremost, a game.


I guess Telltale games weren't games...

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I knew it. damn. Please please please don't make this discussion into "Books or Games?" discussion guys. it is not the point.

I can only say that I think a lot of people care about the story and characters at least as much about the gameplay. that is not say there is something wrong with only caring about the gameplay or putting the gameplay in a higher regard than the story (which I suspect is Larian's point of view). I just say I disagree with this design philosophy and I think that if we want to capture the "feel" of Baldur's Gate, we should start with making sure the story makes sense no matter what you choose to do, and if it doesn't either accommodate it or don't offer these choices.


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
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I do agree with what some others are saying here, gameplay is more important in a game than the actual story. If you have a game with a great story but gameplay is horrible you'll have a crappy game and won't want to play it since every action you take in the game is bad. A game with great gameplay and no story is still a great game. A game with great gameplay with a crap story usually feels disappointing when you get through those important story points, but can still be enjoyable to do the mechanical actions which comprise the gameplay. As a personal example, the Souls series have nice lore but even if you don't fully understand the lore and don't care about the story, you'll still have a hell of a time. Then are even those where I straight up couldn't care less about the story or the edgy writing (like Hades as a more recent example) and I simply skip everything lore related just so I can enjoy the combat.

Of course you are not talking about ANY kind of game and are targeting RPGs in particular and in that case, even though I still think gameplay is more important, a good story should also be a top priority. I actually enjoyed the story of BG1 more than BG2 but I still feel that on either of them the core component to the experience is the actual gameplay. There is however one thing which I do find was EXTREMELY relevant for my enjoyment of the originals, and that was the companions. In my opinion, no other game ever managed to create companions for an RPG party as well as those in the original Baldur's Gates. Many games I have played and most characters have I forgotten but forever I shall remember the courageous and mighty Boo and his companion Minsc, Edwin Odesseiron the character I most grew to love for his absolute brilliance/sillyness, Korgan for that berserker dwarf homicidal psycho experience, Jan Jansen the storyteller and turnip connoisseur and many others... The writing for those characters, their party banter and reactions to the events as they developed were absolute perfection for me "You want us to fight a dragon?! You moronic fool! I'll not follow you into an idiotic death! Be eaten by the reptile, for all I care!".
This is not something I even remotely feel with BG3 companions. Gale is kind of ok, but just barely. The rest are way too forced. Also the fact that everyone in the game is apparently bi-sexual and wants to bang whichever race you happen to be after knowing you for a couple of hours... ugh


edit - actually forgot what I wanted to say in the first place: One thing I also noticed regarding your issue with game not acknowledging player actions is when you have Wyll in your party and you go face the goblins which are torturing the gnome. I finished the encounter having knocked down the goblin Wyll needed alive, proceeded to get a cutscene where Wyll talks to him, extracts the info he needs and then tells the player to finish him off. I opt for the dialog choice that results in the death of the goblin, dialog scene ends, and immediately another one starts where Wyll is mad at the player for killing the goblin before having a chance to question him...

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First off, excellent post OP. I very much agree.

Originally Posted by Argonaut
Originally Posted by Emrikol
Story and characters are secondary to gameplay and mechanics. It's a videogame, not a novel (or even a movie).

That being said, I don't think Larian are the best story tellers.

It is a role playing video game. How can story and characters come secondary to mechanics?

This is it exactly for me too. In a ROLE-PLAYING game, story, characters, character development, and yes even lore are what matter. Mechanics are just a means to an end and nothing more. And I think that ultimately this is the fundamental divide among people reacting to BG3: those who care about BG3 from a (D&D 5e PnP) rules and mechanics standpoint, versus those who care about it from a story/characters/lore standpoint. Both of these things are necessary for an RPG to work. My point is about on which side of this divide the focus of the developer falls in creating the game. And because this is what WotC wanted for this particular game, Larian's focus is on the rules and mechanics side of things far more so than the other side of things. I am not that excited about BG3 precisely because I only really care about story, characters, and lore, and as things stand right now the game is rather weak in those areas. As far as mechanics are concerned I am firmly in the camp of Larian freely changing as much of the D&D 5e rules as they need to change to make the game a fun VIDEO game.

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I see this trend on these forums over and over where people make an observation about the game and then it kicks off an argument about whether facet of game A is more important than facet B, and someone else says ‘it’s still EA.

Not everything is a battle to be waged. There’s not a ton of us to argue over a game design flaw.

So here’s what I’ll say. It is still in EA and a lot of the more obvious holes will probably be patched over. That being said, you can infer from just the map that the game is meant to be more similar to a DnD experience than a specific story and I think that ok. It gives a lot of replay value. Every time I restart I end up down a totally different path than the last time.

So yeah OP you’re right. However, clearly this game isn’t designed with the same type of branching story lines of other games. You’re probably not going to get a very clean narrative, but you’re also not going to feel like every play through is the same but you picked option A at plot point B. It’s more on you to tell the story.

Unfortunately, us arguing about it isn’t going to change the fundamental way Larian structured their games. I know that might not be what you want to hear. It’s also not related to the ability to shove, or the number of barrels or whatever.

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To be fair, 90% of the people who complained over BG3 not feeling like a Baldur's Gate game also complained about the lack of muh RTwP combat. Funny how that goes, huh? The early criticism was almost entirely based on rose-colored nostalgia and a strong sense of entitlement. I'm a long time BG-fan but acknowledge that although much of Baldur's Gate was great, it was so relative to the contemporary low-expectations. Gamers at that time were much less jaded and spoiled and were naturally more easily impressed. RTwP was not revolutionary, it was attempting to tap in on the financial success set by Blizzard's "action-RPG" Diablo (and even the RTS Starcraft). Bioware emphasised that gameplay further with NWN, which resulted in a skeleton RPG that failed to live up to expectations set by BG.

Seems to me you're confusing "feeling" with gameplay mechanics. See past the window-dressing and you might spot some striking similarities. The voiced narrator (part of the window dressing admittedly). Broad storyline similarities where the character is changed from within by powerful evil. Complex companions at times at odds with one another (BG3 companions looks much more realistic but has taken what was good about BG to the next level). Exploring while making your way towards Baldur's Gate. The story of BG was grandiose and the characters memorable, it was stand out like Lord of the Rings or Mass Effect...but everything in-between, the gameplay and the presentation was rather meh. Larian excels at gameplay (tactical combat) and presentation. The companions are really great in my opinion, superbly voice-acted believable distinct characters with agency of their own.


Originally Posted by Emrikol
Story and characters are secondary to gameplay and mechanics. It's a videogame, not a novel (or even a movie).

That being said, I don't think Larian are the best story tellers.

Who in your mind are the best then? Larian is in my mind leagues ahead of bEAware. What Larian in particular excel at is in my mind fleshing out of their worlds. In most RPGs I can't wait for the stupid NPCs to shut their faces and dialogue feels, for the most part, like an enforced chore that you feel compelled to go through lest you potentially miss out on game content. Bethesda is the worst, but at least usually don't pretend to be more than a sandbox with RPG elements. I'm currently playing the critically acclaimed Dragon Age: Inquisition and the gameplay outside of rather enjoyable combat, makes me happy I can at least skip ahead over most of the conversation. None of that in BG3, less important NPCs are simply but believably fleshed out with top-notch voice acting.

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Originally Posted by coredumped
If you have a game with a great story but gameplay is horrible you'll have a crappy game and won't want to play it since every action you take in the game is bad. A game with great gameplay and no story is still a great game. A game with great gameplay with a crap story usually feels disappointing when you get through those important story points, but can still be enjoyable to do the mechanical actions which comprise the gameplay.

I think the (very critical) point you are missing here is that the discussion is not about games generally, but rather very specifically about role-playing games. The argument you are making may be applicable to some other types of games. But no way does it apply to role-playing games. A role-playing game, by definition, is about role-playing a character within a story. If you don't have a strong story within which to set your character role-playing, you don't have a role-playing game.

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I thought Hades did a good job in leveraging video game mechanics and blending in story.

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Originally Posted by Emrikol
Originally Posted by Argonaut

It is a role playing video game. How can story and characters come secondary to mechanics?

Because it is, first and foremost, a game.

And before that the decision to make it was based on the desire to tell a story that involves characters. Reductive reasoning aside is there any other reason why you think mechanics should be the focus of a role playing video game based on a franchise infamous for being about the story and characters first and foremost? I can quote the PHB for you if you would like.

I would also like to include a plea. Everyone discussing on this forum does so of their own volition having read the rules(I would hope) and being sound of character and mind. We do not need policing. We are aware that it is EA and if you read out posts you will see that we usually include caveats when discussing points that may be changed by full release. We do not need you to remind us. We also have eyes and brains. Please do not dilute the conversation with a non factor in an attempt to play nanny.

Last edited by Argonaut; 19/10/20 03:58 PM.

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Originally Posted by coredumped
I do agree with what some others are saying here, gameplay is more important in a game than the actual story. If you have a game with a great story but gameplay is horrible you'll have a crappy game and won't want to play it since every action you take in the game is bad. A game with great gameplay and no story is still a great game. A game with great gameplay with a crap story usually feels disappointing when you get through those important story points, but can still be enjoyable to do the mechanical actions which comprise the gameplay. As a personal example, the Souls series have nice lore but even if you don't fully understand the lore and don't care about the story, you'll still have a hell of a time. Then are even those where I straight up couldn't care less about the story or the edgy writing (like Hades as a more recent example) and I simply skip everything lore related just so I can enjoy the combat.

Of course you are not talking about ANY kind of game and are targeting RPGs in particular and in that case, even though I still think gameplay is more important, a good story should also be a top priority. I actually enjoyed the story of BG1 more than BG2 but I still feel that on either of them the core component to the experience is the actual gameplay. There is however one thing which I do find was EXTREMELY relevant for my enjoyment of the originals, and that was the companions. In my opinion, no other game ever managed to create companions for an RPG party as well as those in the original Baldur's Gates. Many games I have played and most characters have I forgotten but forever I shall remember the courageous and mighty Boo and his companion Minsc, Edwin Odesseiron the character I most grew to love for his absolute brilliance/sillyness, Korgan for that berserker dwarf homicidal psycho experience, Jan Jansen the storyteller and turnip connoisseur and many others... The writing for those characters, their party banter and reactions to the events as they developed were absolute perfection for me "You want us to fight a dragon?! You moronic fool! I'll not follow you into an idiotic death! Be eaten by the reptile, for all I care!".
This is not something I even remotely feel with BG3 companions. Gale is kind of ok, but just barely. The rest are way too forced. Also the fact that everyone in the game is apparently bi-sexual and wants to bang whichever race you happen to be after knowing you for a couple of hours... ugh


edit - actually forgot what I wanted to say in the first place: One thing I also noticed regarding your issue with game not acknowledging player actions is when you have Wyll in your party and you go face the goblins which are torturing the gnome. I finished the encounter having knocked down the goblin Wyll needed alive, proceeded to get a cutscene where Wyll talks to him, extracts the info he needs and then tells the player to finish him off. I opt for the dialog choice that results in the death of the goblin, dialog scene ends, and immediately another one starts where Wyll is mad at the player for killing the goblin before having a chance to question him...

As for your first paragraph I'll just say: vampire: bloodlines. the most broken game in history and somehow people still play it till this day. I think a synergy between gameplay and story is what makes great game. when elements of the story affects the gameplay and vice versa.

about Wyll and the goblins - great example. I have another one - if you kill the goblins after wyll specifically asks you not to kill them but he is not in the party, he completely ignores it and acts like everything is cool. this is exactly the types of issues I was referring to.

Originally Posted by kanisatha
First off, excellent post OP. I very much agree.

This is it exactly for me too. In a ROLE-PLAYING game, story, characters, character development, and yes even lore are what matter. Mechanics are just a means to an end and nothing more. And I think that ultimately this is the fundamental divide among people reacting to BG3: those who care about BG3 from a (D&D 5e PnP) rules and mechanics standpoint, versus those who care about it from a story/characters/lore standpoint. Both of these things are necessary for an RPG to work. My point is about on which side of this divide the focus of the developer falls in creating the game. And because this is what WotC wanted for this particular game, Larian's focus is on the rules and mechanics side of things far more so than the other side of things. I am not that excited about BG3 precisely because I only really care about story, characters, and lore, and as things stand right now the game is rather weak in those areas. As far as mechanics are concerned I am firmly in the camp of Larian freely changing as much of the D&D 5e rules as they need to change to make the game a fun VIDEO game.

Totally with you on this one. Larian can do whatever they want with the combat. I think you told me you didn't play Dos 2, but as someone who did I can safely say they know what theyr'e doing on that regard.

Short answers:
Stray952 - I think some of this design philosophy is perfectly valid, just not for the reasons you stated. I think that sabotaging the narrative like I showed doesn't make more playthroughs appealing. In fact it's the opposite. when only one way leads to a coherent narrative, why play the others?

Seraphael - I addressed most of what you said. Specifically in chapters one and two. I played Baldur's Gate 2 before 1 and I played them as an adult. i don't think nostalgia is my problem

Last edited by Abits; 19/10/20 04:12 PM.

Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
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Originally Posted by Emrikol
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Originally Posted by Emrikol
Story and characters are secondary to gameplay and mechanics. It's a videogame, not a novel (or even a movie).

That being said, I don't think Larian are the best story tellers.


Now I understand why I nearly always disagree with you^^
I'm not looking for an explosive gameplay with special effetcs everywhere, fire and blood, jumping characters and shove etc... when I'm playing a BG game.

I am looking for a story to follow but also to write... A story that feels like the stories in the books that took place in the FR.
Not saying gameplay isn't important but you'll never find so many surfaces effetcs and jump and arcady fast travel and rest and...... in a consistent story.

Larian's gameplay is great and they already created a good game with it.
I hope they'll change their mind a little bit more about BG3 to improve the consistency and the immersion of their stories. Combats should also be a part of the story instead of being only gameplay elements.

A videogame is a vastly inferior medium for storytelling. No videogame I have ever played even sniffed at the story of a decent novel. Tell me what you think is the best story ever told through a videogame that you think is the equal of Lord of the Rings (or any highly regarded novel/series).

Well, this is certainly subjective.

Context: I read LotR about 20 times, including The Hobbit. The full set is currently on my headboard, in case I decide to pick it up again.

With that out of the way, I found the story in BG/BG 2 extremely compelling. The overarching theme of the Dragon Age series is also very compelling, to the point where I am, in fact, looking forward to the next installment. Mass Effect was a very compelling story, given some snafu at the end. Are they going to be literary classics? In some circles, Baldur's Gate already is considered such. Dragon Age is hit and miss, and other than the ending, people are feeling the same way about Mass Effect, to the point where the next planned release, a remaster of the original trilogy, is all the buzz. Gameplay is significantly different in all three ME games, and yet, it's still extremely popular. What is it, then, that made it popular? The story, and the characters.

When BioWare is hitting on all cylinders, they can tell a story. KotoR is still being praised, despite the clunky, now, gameplay and graphics. The mistake you make, in so far as I can tell, is assuming that a game doesn't have at least a novella of content behind it. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was working on a story based module for NWN, and in laying out the backstory for the region, and the plot, I ended up with something that would have required very little editing to turn into a decent novel. It would have been a lot of work, but the basic format was already there. Despite what you seem to think, it's not just plotting map points between encounters. While there are lots of people that look at every video game they play with a "HULK SMASH" attitude, there are others that take the time to investigate the characters they're teamed up with, or just meet, in the world in question, and the good games have stories for them that make them compelling, or make us hate them, or divide a community, Alistair in DA O comes to mind; some people flat out loved him, and others, myself included, despised him as a person. My perspective on that was I hated him as a person, but loved him as a character, because he could get that animosity from me.

I don't go back to games thinking "I miss that fight". I go back to games because "I miss those characters", or "that character" sometimes. Or, because I want to relive a story, maybe in a different way than the last time. I reread books for the same reason. So that narrative perspective is there, no matter the medium the story is told in. A good story is a good story, and it doesn't have to be in a book to be a good story, and even being in a book doesn't guarantee a good story, I'm sure we've all read some questionable novels, or tried to. So no, a video game is not a vastly inferior medium for story telling. It's no worse than novels, or movies, to accomplish the goal. They, like any other medium, can be bad, but it's not the medium that's at fault for that, because there are some really good games out there, and that's not based on mechanics alone.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
I think that ultimately this is the fundamental divide among people reacting to BG3: those who care about BG3 from a (D&D 5e PnP) rules and mechanics standpoint, versus those who care about it from a story/characters/lore standpoint. Both of these things are necessary for an RPG to work. My point is about on which side of this divide the focus of the developer falls in creating the game. And because this is what WotC wanted for this particular game, Larian's focus is on the rules and mechanics side of things far more so than the other side of things.

Fair enough.

Originally Posted by Seraphael
Who in your mind are the best then? Larian is in my mind leagues ahead of bEAware.

I can't say any game's story has really made it's mark on me, probably because of the point I have already made about a game being an inferior medium for delivering a good story.

Originally Posted by Argonaut
And before that the decision to make it was based on the desire to tell a story that involves characters. Reductive reasoning aside is there any other reason why you think mechanics should be the focus of a role playing video game based on a franchise infamous for being about the story and characters first and foremost? I can quote the PHB for you if you would like.

It's a fair point. Whatever the original intentions of Gygax and company, though, there is a divide, as Kanisatha has said. Some see it as RPg, others as rpG. Perhaps some miscommunication is arising from the lack of a distinction between 'story' and 'role playing.' I love a good story, but I really don't care much for role playing (which isn't to say I don't like having some direction over the story in a game).


Originally Posted by robertthebard
With that out of the way, I found the story in BG/BG 2 extremely compelling.

A story can be compelling, but that isn't saying very much

Originally Posted by robertthebard
The mistake you make, in so far as I can tell, is assuming that a game doesn't have at least a novella of content behind it.

No, I think a game cannot relay the depth of novella behind it as good as the novella itself.

Originally Posted by robertthebard
I don't go back to games thinking "I miss that fight". I go back to games because "I miss those characters", or "that character" sometimes.

I can say the same for books, but I cannot recall one character from a game that has done so.

Originally Posted by robertthebard
So no, a video game is not a vastly inferior medium for story telling. It's no worse than novels, or movies, to accomplish the goal. They, like any other medium, can be bad, but it's not the medium that's at fault for that, because there are some really good games out there, and that's not based on mechanics alone.

Of course novels can be bad. That's not the point. But again, if games are equal to novels in terms of story telling, which ones? Is the story of the original BG on par with LotR? The Elric sagas? GoT? Not 'compelling.' An equal.

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Originally Posted by Emrikol

Originally Posted by Argonaut
And before that the decision to make it was based on the desire to tell a story that involves characters. Reductive reasoning aside is there any other reason why you think mechanics should be the focus of a role playing video game based on a franchise infamous for being about the story and characters first and foremost? I can quote the PHB for you if you would like.

It's a fair point. Whatever the original intentions of Gygax and company, though, there is a divide, as Kanisatha has said. Some see it as RPg, others as rpG. Perhaps some miscommunication is arising from the lack of a distinction between 'story' and 'role playing.' I love a good story, but I really don't care much for role playing (which isn't to say I don't like having some direction over the story in a game).

I'm glad you brought this up because I think people are obsessing too much over one or the other when it is RPG. The mechanics should complement the story and aesthetic just as how the music is matched to the pace of the gameplay. These features should work with one another to create something greater than the sum of their parts. The way forward is to focus on the simulation rather than stay attached to archaic ideas that technology is fast out pacing.




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Originally Posted by Emrikol
Originally Posted by kanisatha
I think that ultimately this is the fundamental divide among people reacting to BG3: those who care about BG3 from a (D&D 5e PnP) rules and mechanics standpoint, versus those who care about it from a story/characters/lore standpoint. Both of these things are necessary for an RPG to work. My point is about on which side of this divide the focus of the developer falls in creating the game. And because this is what WotC wanted for this particular game, Larian's focus is on the rules and mechanics side of things far more so than the other side of things.

Fair enough.

Originally Posted by Seraphael
Who in your mind are the best then? Larian is in my mind leagues ahead of bEAware.

I can't say any game's story has really made it's mark on me, probably because of the point I have already made about a game being an inferior medium for delivering a good story.

Originally Posted by Argonaut
And before that the decision to make it was based on the desire to tell a story that involves characters. Reductive reasoning aside is there any other reason why you think mechanics should be the focus of a role playing video game based on a franchise infamous for being about the story and characters first and foremost? I can quote the PHB for you if you would like.

It's a fair point. Whatever the original intentions of Gygax and company, though, there is a divide, as Kanisatha has said. Some see it as RPg, others as rpG. Perhaps some miscommunication is arising from the lack of a distinction between 'story' and 'role playing.' I love a good story, but I really don't care much for role playing (which isn't to say I don't like having some direction over the story in a game).


Originally Posted by robertthebard
With that out of the way, I found the story in BG/BG 2 extremely compelling.

A story can be compelling, but that isn't saying very much

Originally Posted by robertthebard
The mistake you make, in so far as I can tell, is assuming that a game doesn't have at least a novella of content behind it.

No, I think a game cannot relay the depth of novella behind it as good as the novella itself.

Originally Posted by robertthebard
I don't go back to games thinking "I miss that fight". I go back to games because "I miss those characters", or "that character" sometimes.

I can say the same for books, but I cannot recall one character from a game that has done so.

Originally Posted by robertthebard
So no, a video game is not a vastly inferior medium for story telling. It's no worse than novels, or movies, to accomplish the goal. They, like any other medium, can be bad, but it's not the medium that's at fault for that, because there are some really good games out there, and that's not based on mechanics alone.

Of course novels can be bad. That's not the point. But again, if games are equal to novels in terms of story telling, which ones? Is the story of the original BG on par with LotR? The Elric sagas? GoT? Not 'compelling.' An equal.

The problem with snipping tidbits out of a post and responding to them, also known as cherry picking, is that you remove context, such as where I stated that I return to books for the same reason as I return to games, hence reading LotR 20 times. You "conveniently" removed responses that make it harder for you to support your claim of one medium being superior to another, which doesn't compel me to go "oh snap, he/she's right", but instead makes me think "why did they remove the bits that make their position harder to support". For example, you close out your comment here asking about which games are on par with books. I have not only already answered that question, but I gave several game series in support of what I said. I also listed another game a bit later, that's also wildly popular, and not because of the gameplay mechanics. If a game's not CoD, or Mortal Kombat-esque, then it's probably going to be a safe bet that story and characters in the game drove it's popularity. While there are some exceptions, I'm sure, the thing that always springs up when people discuss FF7 isn't "but I loved all the fighting", but the death of one of the companions. This tells me that it isn't about the mechanics, but the narrative. If I didn't find them to be equal, or in the same ball park, aka compelling, I wouldn't have listed them. The title of this game drew a lot of players here, why do you suppose that is? Was it because the combat was so memorable, or was it something deeper, that only a strong story/strong characters could evoke?

Story telling isn't stronger just because it's in a book. You can achieve all of the same elements that make a book good in any medium, if you're a good enough story teller. I used to tell great ghost stories around the campfire. Are they somehow lessened because I didn't write them down and publish them?

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Originally Posted by Argonaut

I'm glad you brought this up because I think people are obsessing too much over one or the other when it is RPG. The mechanics should complement the story and aesthetic just as how the music is matched to the pace of the gameplay. These features should work with one another to create something greater than the sum of their parts. The way forward is to focus on the simulation rather than stay attached to archaic ideas that technology is fast out pacing.




All true. But also not exactly what this topic is about. Perhaps I wasn't as clear about it as I should be. I didn't claim Larian shouldn't care about gameplay, I said they should care about the story as much as they care about the gameplay.

And perhaps there are those who completely don't care about the story, but I doubt they are the majority or even 40% of fans. But that's not my problem either.

My problem is that right now Larian treats the story like it's some silly chore they have to do in order to get into the fun combat. It doesn't even matter whether they have good writers if they keep sabotaging their work


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
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Originally Posted by Abits
Originally Posted by Argonaut

I'm glad you brought this up because I think people are obsessing too much over one or the other when it is RPG. The mechanics should complement the story and aesthetic just as how the music is matched to the pace of the gameplay. These features should work with one another to create something greater than the sum of their parts. The way forward is to focus on the simulation rather than stay attached to archaic ideas that technology is fast out pacing.




All true. But also not exactly what this topic is about. Perhaps I wasn't as clear about it as I should be. I didn't claim Larian shouldn't care about gameplay, I said they should care about the story as much as they care about the gameplay.

And perhaps there are those who completely don't care about the story, but I doubt they are the majority or even 40% of fans. But that's not my problem either.

My problem is that right now Larian treats the story like it's some silly chore they have to do in order to get into the fun combat. It doesn't even matter whether they have good writers if they keep sabotaging their work

I don't disagree with you but my point is more that the standard Larian are being held to is nowhere near high enough and what they have given us so far is nowhere near good enough. Why is the community fighting over story first or mechanics first? We should all be fighting for both. One or the other is just not going to cut it this time around because it is their third major release, they are no longer a dinky little studio, they can afford to hire professionals outside of their immediate employees to fill in for their area of demonstrable expertise(read: professional and proven authors in the same manner as they hire professional and proven composers for their music) and they chose to create something under the Baldur's gate franchise name. They have chosen not to go this way despite full price early EA. This is the renaissance of the genre and the technology, software, hardware and expertise has made leaps and bounds and yet we are stuck with the same problems arguing among one another while we wait for breadcrumbs by the developer.

Last edited by Argonaut; 19/10/20 05:56 PM.

I am here to discuss a video game. Please do not try to rope me into anything other than that. Thank you.
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On the point of if the game "feels" like a Baldur's Gate game. I can tell you that it has nothing to do with gameplay. The best example is Fallout: New Vegas, it is totally different gameplay-wise than Fallout 1 and 2, but still many consider it "the real" Fallout 3. It's because the game talks to you with the same language, you recognize things that were established in previous games. NPCs talk and use certain slang and attitudes, and mannerisms that are familiar to a returning player. The music, the theme, everything in the game tries to make you feel back at home. And Fallout: New Vegas, just like BG3 is many years in the future of the first two games, and have totally different gameplay, but you can clearly agree that they respected the old lore and expanded on it, and made something new, without just remaking the old or creating a massive fan service.

In BG3 the gameplay is different, but I love it and I don't really care, it's just a different tool to explore a world I love. The problem many players have, and I will consider myself among them, is that I don't recognize the world itself. I understand that it is many years in the future, but the theme feels very different, the NPCs, the mannerisms, slang, and curses, the storytelling. I can't see Tiax or Edwin or even Minsc existing in this world without being "cast by a different actor" or changed radically. In the context of the old games, Minsc was amazing, because the game had this whimsical undertone to it, here I think that the game takes itself too seriously for Minsc and Boo to feel organic to the story.


Last edited by Godforsaken; 19/10/20 05:57 PM.
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Originally Posted by Argonaut
Originally Posted by Abits
Originally Posted by Argonaut

I'm glad you brought this up because I think people are obsessing too much over one or the other when it is RPG. The mechanics should complement the story and aesthetic just as how the music is matched to the pace of the gameplay. These features should work with one another to create something greater than the sum of their parts. The way forward is to focus on the simulation rather than stay attached to archaic ideas that technology is fast out pacing.




All true. But also not exactly what this topic is about. Perhaps I wasn't as clear about it as I should be. I didn't claim Larian shouldn't care about gameplay, I said they should care about the story as much as they care about the gameplay.

And perhaps there are those who completely don't care about the story, but I doubt they are the majority or even 40% of fans. But that's not my problem either.

My problem is that right now Larian treats the story like it's some silly chore they have to do in order to get into the fun combat. It doesn't even matter whether they have good writers if they keep sabotaging their work

They aren't good writers and so far the story and writing is par for the course with their previous releases. I agree with what you've said completely but the moment I saw the implementation of the same Coop system and Origin characters I lost a lot of home in this game. Anything is fun with friends, and just like DivOS and DivOS2 it seems that this is the design mentality this time around as well. Add to that there is no kind of recognition of feedback about this issue and you would have thought that at least a writer would have said something. I could understand if there was some kind of constriction for release but we've paid full price for early access. Those legal concerns are no longer an issue. The other explanation is that they are busy working on the next part of the game and story before considering feedback which is just bad business. It would mean they have committed to another third of the game without first considering the feedback which defeats the purpose yet again. A shiny cosmetic or t shirt isn't going justify EA if either of these are the case and the longer they keep silent about it the more I fear that they do not consider it to be a priority.

Alternatively, it could be with over a million copies sold, and feedback coming from multiple sources, that they're busy analyzing what's going on in the game, and don't have time to respond to every thread posted in the forums. There was already a comment by one of them on one of the articles on the launcher, about the overwhelming amount of players they got from EA. I'd say that that's going to make one to one interactions nigh impossible. The fact that we can see hotfixes being done, and a patch rolled back means that they are, in fact, paying attention.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard

The problem with snipping tidbits out of a post and responding to them, also known as cherry picking, is that you remove context

No, cherry picking has nothing to do with it. It gets very lengthy to quote everyone entirely. Your original post is readily available for all to see (assuming anyone but you or I are reading each other’s responses at this point, which is increasingly unlikely).



Originally Posted by robertthebard
you close out your comment here asking about which games are on par with books. I have not only already answered that question, but I gave several game series in support of what I said.

You said “compelling.” That does not mean ‘equal.’ So, to be clear, the original BG story, or the ff7 story, is the equal of LotR?

Originally Posted by robertthebard
Story telling isn't stronger just because it's in a book. You can achieve all of the same elements that make a book good in any medium, if you're a good enough story teller.

A book provides hundreds, if not thousands of more dialogue for a character than what is found in a video game. In a book, you readily see the world through the character’s eyes, and in a lot of cases, extensively know their thoughts. Video game characters are so much more limited in these ways, not just in the scope, but the depth as well. They are hopelessly shallow in comparison.

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